I shared this as part of another IG challenge, this one a writing challenge with @simmeringmind. The prompt was: A real life hero or writer who inspires you. Photo from Unsplash.
Anytime I think of a hero, I think of my kids. My kids are the reason I write what I do. The snippet below is an excerpt from the speech I gave at my youngest son’s graduation.
Eddie Rickenbacker, the WW I Ace and Medal of Honor recipient said, “Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared.”
There have been many things to be afraid of. When the world is loud and crowds you and it’s hard to tell up from down, in from out; terror doesn’t only stalk, it sidles up next to you and tries to claw its way into your back pocket.
When he was small, the invisible and seen were jumbled together and everything screamed danger. Fears were faced daily, but I remember one day in particular. We were at the church door, and he could not move.
He did not bury his face in my skirt, but edged closer to me. We waited. After a pause, his big brother opened the glass door. We all went in together.
Our place was in the back row. During the singing all the people stood, so we did, too, and he leaned into me. His little boy body trembled. I sat back down, but did not take him into my lap. Instead, with one arm I circled his thin shoulders and laid my other hand on his sticky-damp forehead.
A man stared at us. I joined in to sing the chorus with the congregation, my arms remaining around my child, the pressure firm and sure while he sat, solid and still.
He closed his eyes. We breathed in unison. In, out, in, out. His balled up fists became loose and lost their whiteness around the knuckles.
He has always been the bravest one.
I’ve watched him square his shoulders more times than I can count.
“Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day, saying,
‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
Mary Anne Radmacher
There have been many, many tomorrows. There are Giants in the land. Everyday courage takes everyday perseverance. To see the persistence, the faith walked out in small, careful steps has grown in me a deep and steady strength I never knew was possible.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
To see him get up, try again, time after time is enough to produce a vision of what heroic truly means.
Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, leave a comment telling me about your biggest hero.
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